A third of Wisconsin’s wolves killed after losing protections this year, study says
A hunt killed more than 200 wolves, and poaching may have increased, since Endangered Species Act protections ended in January.
February was a deadly month for wolves in Wisconsin. The state issued 2,380 hunting permits, with a plan to allow hunters to kill 119 of the animals. But in fewer than three days, hunters shot or trapped 218 wolves, leading the state to close its season early.
New research suggests the official death toll is incomplete. A paper published this week in the journal PeerJ estimates that, in addition to these fatalities, illegal poachers killed another hundred wolves, together reducing the state’s wolf population by about one-third between April 2020 and April 2021.
And even that is likely an underestimate, according to Adrian Treves, study co-author and professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We took the most conservative estimates